Mad, Bad, and Dead

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 23 Aug 2022 | Archive Date Not set

Talking about this book? Use #MadBadandDead #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


A dead employee. A missing child. Anonymous phone calls in the dead of night. Judi Westerholme's troubles aren't over yet...

Already struggling to juggle co-running the local pub along with her new childcare responsibilities for her orphaned niece, Judi does not need her life to become any more complicated.

Yet, as usual, complications arrive in spades: she starts receiving threatening, late-night phone calls before discovering one of her employees, Kate, shot dead.

Judi finds herself caught up in a murder investigation, as well as the hunt for the Kate's fourteen year-old daughter, who has been missing since the murder.

Add in the uncertainty of her relationship with Melbourne-based D.S. Heath and the fact that her estranged mother's nursing home keeps urging her to visit, and Judi might finally be at breaking point.

A fast-paced thriller set in the Australian outback, Mad, Bad and Dead is perfect for fans of BBC One's The Tourist.

A dead employee. A missing child. Anonymous phone calls in the dead of night. Judi Westerholme's troubles aren't over yet...

Already struggling to juggle co-running the local pub along with her new...

Advance Praise


'This novel is a page turner and the action is pretty much full on; kidnap, murder, gangster wars, a mcguffin and a decent cop' - NB Magazine

'Sherryl Clark is a worthy addition to the crime writing fraternity, and Trust Me, I'm Dead is a book you should definitely add to your reading list' - Shots Mag

'A whodunnit worthy of a binge alert' - The Westsider

'Gripping and disturbing, Clark delves into dark places close to home. Trust Me, I'm Dead will linger in your mind after you have read it' - Leigh Russell

'This felt like an impeccably planned treasure hunt with tension interwoven into the story to lasso my attention right to the end. I'll be watching for the author's next crime fiction offering!' - A Knight's Reads

'An intense, addictive read with enough action to get your heart beating and characters to die for' - Chocolate 'n' Waffles


'This novel is a page turner and the action is pretty much full on; kidnap, murder, gangster wars, a mcguffin and a decent cop' - NB Magazine

'Sherryl Clark is a worthy...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9780857308207
PRICE £9.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 8 members

Featured Reviews

This is a very good thriller set in the Australian outback in a small town. I really liked the main character of Judi, tough and determined, as well as the other believable characters. The book is well written, with an interesting plot and a steady pace. Although it is part of a series, with reference to previous events, it can be read as a stand alone. There are plenty twists and it's definitely worth the read. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.

Was this review helpful?

A solid four star read. Great premise. Well written. Good characters. Page turner. Plenty of suspense to keep me guessing Would definitely read her next novel. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review it.

Was this review helpful?

This is my first taste of Sherryl Clark's small town Aussie outback series set in Candlebark, not too far from Melbourne, featuring Judi Westerholme. There is a lot that has happened in previous books in the series, and many events and characters are mentioned, including the death of Judi's brother that has her being mum to 3 year old orphaned Mia, but it still worked reasonably as a standalone crime read. Struggling financially in the co-running Candlebark's pub/bistro with her chef partner and close friend, Andre, along with managing her new childcare responsibilities, Judi has more than enough on her plate, and her relationship with DS Ben Heath is suffering, leaving her feeling uncertain. However, trouble arrives in spades and she begins facing disasters left, right and centre, this includes receiving threatening late night phone calls at her home, which she reports to the helpful and competent local country cop, DC Connor Byrne.

This is before discovering one of her most invaluable, reliable and hardworking employees has not turned up for work and when she goes to find out what is wrong, she finds Kate Brown shot dead in her bed and her 14 year old daughter, Emma, missing. You would think Judi would leave the investigation to the police, but no, she is right there at the centre of the murder inquiry, and the hunt for Emma. And when she least needs it, her estranged mother's nursing home keeps calling to urge her to visit, particularly as her mother is dying, a last chance to see her alive, something a reluctant Judi will do anything to avoid. Judi's life is placed in danger and further complicated with hitmen on the loose, arson, trying to get to the bottom of what Emma is keeping secret, and the possibility of corruption in the police force.

It is barely surprising that Judi on occasion bursts under the pressures she faces, her first priority at all times is the safety of Mia, and this places limits on what she is willing to do for a grieving and despairing Emma who desperately needs help, but does not trust the police. This is an engaging and entertaining crime read that I very much enjoyed, it is held together by the character of Judi, a courageous and resilient protagonist that grabbed my interest, I really felt for her as she is bombarded by one thing after another. A great Aussie series. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I did enjoy reading this book. I liked the main character, there was plenty going on, the pace was okay, and there was plenty to keep me guessing, good book. Well worth a read.

Was this review helpful?

I would like to thank Netgalley and Oldcastle Books for an advance copy of Mad, Bad and Dead, the third novel to feature Judi Westerholme set in the fictional Australian country town of Candlebark, Victoria.

Judi is getting threatening phone calls and doesn’t know why. The one of her employees, Kate Brown is late for work. Judi needs her to help her run the local pub so goes to chivvy her along, only to find her murdered in her bed and her teenage daughter, Emma, missing. Running a faltering pub, looking after her three year old orphaned niece and now a murder investigation, not to mention her estranged mother being close to death, no wonder Judi is feeling the strain.

I enjoyed Mad, Bad and Dead, even if it is the first novel in the series I have read and it makes copious references to past events. Fortunately there is enough recap to feel up to date and make the novel work as a stand-alone.

This is a high octane novel with a relentless pace and too many events to count. It is told in the first person from Judi’s point of view so the reader gets up close and personal with the toll these events take on her and her strength in confronting them. I think she is one of the best drawn characters I have read in a while. She’s tough and resourceful but has no hesitation in calling out poor behaviour or lashing out if the situation requires it. She even, very occasionally, lets the situation get on top of her.

I don’t even know where to start with the plot, which covers a gamut of crime, including but not limited to hitmen, murder and arson with a whiff of police corruption as the cherry on top.

I thought from the description that this would be a humorous novel, but the author mostly plays it straight. It is eventful and keeps the reader wondering about what is coming next, but it lacks that spark to be be truly engrossing. Still it’s entertaining in a light hearted way.

Mad, Bad and Dead is a fun read that I can recommend.

Was this review helpful?

A bit of a slow burner as you tried to piece the pieces together but once that happened what a great read it was.

Was this review helpful?

Well written with a fast paced and gripping storyline and well developed characters. This book was twisty and unpredictable and I couldn't out it down. I loved it.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: